NEW DELHI: The absence of AAP leaders from ground zero has been questioned by various quarters, with many pointing that the trend of the ruling party missing from action was not a new one. It was a pattern first seen at the Shaheen Bagh protests in 2019 followed by the riots in 2020. A token support had come from the local AAP MLA who initially supported the movement at Shaheen Bagh.
For the past three days, the frontline AAP leaders were seen active on the virtual world to mark their protest, instead of reaching out to the families in Jahangirpuri. Senior leaders including deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Raghav Chadha, Atishi, Sanjay Singh have addressed the media criticising the BJP for creating hooliganism and blaming them for stoking riots all over the country.
It took five days for the ruling party to reach out to the aggrieved locals when AAP MLAs Sanjeev Jha and Pawan Kumar Sharma visited Jahangirpuri on Thursday afternoon. When asked why he had arrived late, he reportedly said he was in touch with the people over the phone. Regarding a media query about the chief minister’s absence, Jha said Kejriwal had raised the matter with the Union home minister earlier.
Several people took to social media asking if the chief minister actually cares about its citizens since neither he nor his main leaders bothered to visit the area in the past three days. “How can a Chief Minister be not in his state when such violence has erupted and his own people who voted for him are in trouble? Where are the CM and his team?” said one of the tweets. “Is this because of Covid that these AAP leaders are marking only their online presence and avoiding the offline one?”
In fact, Kejriwal has been quiet on the issue since April 16 when he last tweeted condemning the incident and calling out for strict punishment for the guilty. On Thursday, the AAP chief was busy away in Karnataka to launch his party’s campaign in the southern state.